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Such a great creepy book. In this installment we learn more about the organization which has been sending expeditions into Area X. It’s definitely a lot more of a weird bureaucracy procedural than the previous book but I still found weird little bits that I enjoyed.

The Infinite Blacktop

I loved this series so much! This book doesn’t tie everything up but it ties a lot of stuff up. All three of these Claire DeWitt books are a refreshing change of pace from usual hard-boiled detective tropes. The female detective is both terrific but also deeply flawed and, while she does have a fair amount of sex, is not a femme fatale. I appreciated her and her variable morality and her blind spots as well as her strengths in detection. Sorry there are not more of these, I thought they were terrific.


Apparently “weird fiction” is a thing. I loved this first-in-a-trilogy book about a spooky area in the US and the people who are part of an expedition to find out more about it. Except it’s not that simple, the leader of the group is some sort of control freak, one of the members had a husband who was (sort of) killed in a previous expedition, and everyone’s a little strange. It’s a lot of “show me don’t tell me” exposition which I appreciated. Looking forward to the other two novels.

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

Another great book in the Claire DeWitt series, this one with more backstory and nested cases within cases. You learn more about Claire, more about how she operates and more about what makes her both a brilliant detective and a hot mess. In this book she’s dealing with her own grief as well as trying to solve mysteries past and present. It’s a lot and takes its toll on her.

Left in the Wind: A Novel of the Lost Colony

I thought I was getting a historical novelization of the lost colony of Roanoke. What I was actually getting was a tale of a ribald wet nurse who fucks her way to the new colonies (written by a man). Not my thing.

Eat the Document

Loved and did not love this book which has two timelines, one from the past and one from almost-now. This is a story that is fiction but it’s clearly getting a LOT of the information in it from real-life things. A group of radicals in the 60s bombs a house where someone is killed and they go underground. That is one story. The two people who went underground (you figure out later this is who they are) are now living near each other, unbeknownst to them, in Seattle in the 90s. Which was weird for me because *I* was in Seattle in the 90s and so much of this both rang true and also didn’t feel like fiction. I made the mistake of reading others' reviews before writing my own and I have to agree that there was a lot to like about this book but keeping the big reveal (what they actually DID back in the 60s) until the last few pages felt a little constructed. I wanted to know more, sooner, I felt a lot of the people had a lack of agency and vagued their way into things. I think this was good and I’d recommend it to people but I might also warn them about some of it.

Uncanny Valley: A memoir

A poignant look at being a woman in tech in the Bay Area pretty darned recently. The parts of this book which were the hardest for me were the parts that were SO TRUE (Wiener worked at one of the same companies that I did, while I was working there during a brief and deeply unpleasant time). She has a great voice and came to the Bay Area from the East Coast and so isn’t really a West Coast native who just vagues her way into things.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

I read another mystery book where the protagonist had a bit of a mental health issue and did not like it, strongly. This one is somehow different, better written, more diverse with a lot more empathy to more of the characters. It’s a weird complicated story, trying to solve a murder or a disappearance which may or may not have happened during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It was a romp, it was well done and I loved it.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

So good and not just because a lot of it takes place in Vermont. This is a fantasy story but only sort of. The basic conceit" what if there were doors to other worlds that you could get to but they were hard to find. What if some people wanted them closed? What if other people wanted them open? How could you move among and between them? There’s a LOT going on in this story which mostly happens through the eyes of a young, female protagonist. A nicely complex story that nonetheless both wraps up and leaves a door open for more story to come.